Streamlining of bridge pier as a scour countermeasure: A feasibility study

Junhong Li, Junliang Tao, Xiong Bill Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Scour around bridge pier is known as one of the most critical causes to bridge failure. Countermeasures suggested by HEC-23 (2009) include riprap, gabions, spurs, guide banks, and so on. The principals of these countermeasures are either mechanically stabilizing the channel bed surface to prevent the development of the scour hole, or reducing the vortex intensity. Streamlining of the piers is a potentially feasible countermeasure to bridge scour by reducing the vortex strength. In this paper, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models are developed to evaluate the feasibility of streamlining as a countermeasure. Five test cases with different streamlining features are systematically analyzed and compared. It is found that the vertical profile of the pier nose and sidewalls has significant effects on the development of vortex structures around piers. Streamlined pier nose and sidewalls help reduce the downward flow in front of the piers, the vortex extent around the pier and the bed shear stress intensity. If the pier is not aligned with the incoming flow, however, the effectiveness of streamlining as a scour countermeasure may be highly compromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFCEE 2015 - Proceedings of the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015
EditorsJ. Brian Anderson, Magued Iskander, Muhannad T. Suleiman, Debra F. Laefer
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479087
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015, IFCEE 2015 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Mar 17 2015Mar 21 2015

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
VolumeGSP 256
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherInternational Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015, IFCEE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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